Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Having the climate cake and eating it too

30.11.2007
Is it possible to solve climate change, reduce poverty and save biodiversity at a single stroke? It might seem like a dream, but this is exactly the issue that is being discussed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) in Bali 3-14 December 2007.

The key is to include reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in the Kyoto Protocol so that developing countries can be compensated for saving their forests and woodlands.

A recent paper in the African Journal of Ecology points out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that 20-25% of current annual carbon emissions result from loss of tropical forest. This has prompted efforts to renegotiate climate change policy to include REDD so that tropical forest nations can claim compensation for sustainable management of their natural forest resources. But not all tropical countries are pushing for an agreement and many African countries do not appear to be participating in the discussion. Eliakimu Zahabu from the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania and lead author on the paper suggests that “The lack of African action might be partly because estimation of carbon emission from the forest sector has been based on forest areas cleared entirely, i.e. deforestation, but excludes the small-scale degradation processes common in African dry forests”.

This means that the concepts for lowering carbon emissions from developing countries that have been worked out under the climate change agreements need rethinking. Dr Margaret Skutsch, from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, has been studying the problem for five years “Degradation is often a different process with different drivers and needs a different instrument in Kyoto” she says, and adds “for African countries to benefit from the new policy, they need to support the idea of reduced emissions from controlling degradation in a way that reflects African realities, and to do this they need to engage in the debate.”

Taking Tanzania as an example, Zahabu estimates that the country could earn $630 million annually or $119 per rural household, from the REDD policy. Prof. Jon Lovett, an expert on Tanzania biodiversity and associate editor of the African Journal of Ecology, points out that “the biggest problem in tropical forest management is paying for it: to date the preferred option has been to remove the valuable timber without any post-logging care, and then the process of degradation starts. A REDD policy would change that so that forest managers could conserve both carbon and biodiversity, it would be an unbelievable break-through.” In addition, poverty alleviation isn’t just about direct payments for carbon.

Prof. Lovett continues “Forests, particularly the dry forests which cover so much of Africa, are essential for people’s livelihoods, producing medicines, honey, food, forage, rope, just about anything you can imagine. Community based forest management supported by Kyoto payments would be central to poverty reduction.” A simple change in policy thus has the potential to have a triple solution: carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. This looks a lot like being able to have our cake and eating it too, providing that the meeting at Bali can move towards reaching an agreement.

Davina Quarterman | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2007.00886.x

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boars
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>